A few months ago I mentioned Angela Lewis, a researcher who had just published a book called My Other Self, which was a look at the very normal real lives of some people with unusual sex lives. Ms. Lewis, while not a kinkster, herself, has done a great job with demystifying (and some might say he-terrifying) the conceptions that many non-kinksters have of people who are into non-vanilla sex.
Ms. Lewis, in following up with her book and the several articles that she has written for an Australian professional journal, has been interviewing various kinksters in a”10 Questions” format. To her credit, she avoids the prurient (i.e., giggle-inducing) questions and asks the kind of things that anyone might be interested in asking someone whom they’ve just met. Here’s a nice session with prodomme Mistress Mynx, here’s one with another pro-domme Mistress Michelle, here’s an interesting chat with fetish model Arinda Storm Weaver, and here’s an exceptionally interesting interview with somebody named Tom Allen, a non-pro chastity enthusiast.
Angela had contacted me near the end of April, and had not hipped to the prank post that was up all month, so some of her initial questions were about what made Mrs. Edge and I give up the “enforced” chastity. After explaining the situation, she rewrote some of the questions, and just published them today. Here’s a sampling:
Q: For readers who may not be familiar with male chastity and orgasm denial, can you give us the quick overview of what it entails?
I think just about everybody is familiar with the concept of “teasing,” in which a woman offers the promise of sexual favors, but prolongs the actual act. We just take that a little bit further; instead of expecting satisfaction (i.e., an orgasm) later that day, or even later that week, our satisfaction is delayed weeks, or sometimes even months. While this could be done on the honor system, many of us prefer to utilize some of the devices on the market that are made for preventing temptation.
Really, all chastity play is essentially role-playing. No device is 100% inescapable, and most can be removed with some decent tools and a little finesse. However, since they can be very difficult to defeat without breaking the device, it feeds into the power exchange fantasy some of us have of losing or giving up control. This may be the biggest appeal to chastity aficionados because the *idea* of giving up control, not just for an hour, but essentially forever, can be a very hot fantasy. For men who are accustomed to having a quick wank nearly every day, losing that option is losing control at a very basic, primal level. It’s like bondage, but played out over weeks or months, instead of over an evening.
Paradoxically, non-BDSM couples that have played with “enforced” chastity often report that they end up having *more* sexual intimacy. Partly that’s because the exchange of power can revitalize their relationship, but also because they begin to see that sexual intimacy is much more than penetration. Men often learn to sublimate their own sexual desire into doing things for (or with) their partners that enhance physical closeness. Women, feeling less pressured to have sex all the time, begin to feel more relaxed, knowing that they are in control of the situation.
Obviously this is a generalization, but these factors add to the appeal, and give some motivation to those who continue to play once they get the hang of it.
Q: How did Mrs.Edge feel about exploring male chastity and orgasm denial when the topic first came up?
Surprisingly, she was okay with it. We played a few times, but she didn’t really become interested until the CB3000 came out, sometime around 2003. To her, the organic shape was much more sexy — and comfortable — than the cage-style devices.
We hit a point in our marriage where things were a bit rocky, and in the course of trying to get back on track, we had a few discussions about our sexual relations. She confessed that she used to find the idea of locking me up to be quite a turn on, but she didn’t care for the shape of the cage, or the hard angles of the metal bars. When I showed her pictures of the CB3000, her first words were “You have got to get one of these.”
I say “surprisingly” because Mrs. Edge isn’t crazy about BDSM or fetish gear, and in fact, we own very few sex toys. But instead of perceiving the chastity device as a piece of bondage equipment (which would put her in a “Cruel Mistress” position, something she didn’t want), she saw it as a way to have control over the lust of her sexually charged husband.
Yes, it’s kind of the same thing, but in *her* mind, that is the role that “works” for her.
Q: Is the chastity device integral to your enjoyment of orgasm denial, or is it possible to also enjoy the practice if not wearing the device?
For us, yes. Both Mrs. Edge and I enjoy the idea that she has all of the control. The device serves to reinforce the idea. While she could simply just tell me not to touch myself when she’s not around, or tie a yellow ribbon around me as a symbol, it doesn’t carry the same weight as an actual, lockable device.
There is a schism in the orgasm denial community (such as it is): some people claim that all that should be necessary is for one’s partner to request “no touching, while others maintain that the equipment is part of what makes it hot. Mrs. Edge and I find that wearing the device makes the lack of control more “real”. This also extends to why we do not use a schedule or a point system to determine when I’ll be allowed an orgasm — as far as she’s concerned, such factors take control out of her hands. But in the end, it all depends upon the relationship that you have.
Q: You are now in your fifties, and you wrote on your blog recently on your perception of ageism. What do you think is the peak decade for a man in terms of knowing himself and living as his true self?
Over the last few years, I’ve noticed that the people who are the *most* concerned about getting older are the people my own age. I suppose I have a younger mindset because I spend so much time interacting on forums and websites where one’s age isn’t nearly as important. But I’m becoming very disenchanted with my friends who seem to be turning into zombies. I can’t go a week without seeing some stupid “Remember when…?” email chain letter, or some hackneyed glurge about getting older. I just don’t understand what makes people get stuck in time like that.
I liken it to people who emigrate to a different country. Some of them move to a neighborhood where everybody from the old country settled; they go to the old-country stores, the restaurants, and don’t bother to learn the new language. Essentially, they haven’t moved. Yet, other people take steps to learn the language, and to try the new things that their new host country has to offer.
Time moves on, so in that respect, we are all moving to a new country. But why should we insulate ourselves in the ghettoes, when there is so much out there to see?
Instead of having me copy and paste everything, why not click on over to My Other Self and read the rest? And while you’re there, click around on the rest of her site; maybe it will encourage her — and others — to help make kink a little more mainstream friendly.